The Panel of Inquiry, set up to investigate the cause of the 21-storey Ikoyi building collapse, has submitted its report to the Lagos state government on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 after thorough investigation.
Recall that, on November 1st, 2021, Lagosians (Nigerians), woke up to the sad news that, a two high-rise buildings, belonging to Fourscore Height Limited, situated at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi West, Lagos, has collapsed with scores of people trapped under the rubble.
A follow up on the cause of the incident revealed that, 15 storey building permit was actually approved by the Lagos State government, for work at the site, and not a 21 storey building sitting on the narrow space.
In reaction to the development, the Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement released shortly after the incident, said, a ‘Panel of Inquiry’ has been instituted to look into the matter, and until the outcome of their “integrity test on the two buildings”, nothing can be done to the two standing high-rise buildings.
Consequent upon this, a team of experts, headed by a town planner, Toyin Ayinde, was promptly instituted to look into cause of the collapse.
On Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, the Panel submitted the report stating the reason(s) for the collapse.
The report reads:
“Having spent approximately six weeks on this assignment, we now wish to make our submission to the Governor of Lagos state, who constituted the tribunal, that the building collapse is rooted in the collapse of values, morals, and ethics, which we need to work on as a nation.”
Head of the Panel, Toyin Ayinde added that,
“We cannot sow the wind and not expect to reap the whirlwind. Therefore, ethics and due diligence need to be restored.”
He confirmed that,
“To execute this assignment successfully, the tribunal visited the project site for a general assessment; coordinated the activities of the consultants who conducted tests on the site; received and reviewed documents from relevant MDAs; conducted 35 interview sessions; interrogated a total of 91 persons; requested and received a total of 21 memoranda; and accessed the home of the late CEO of Fourscore Heights Limited, Mr. Olufemi Osibona, with a view to gathering any other useful/relevant information to support the tribunal’s fact-finding mission.”
While handing over the report, the team, headed by Toyin Ayinde said,
“…the report of the inquiry carried out by the tribunal containing the various findings, and the recommendations, which we hope the government would be able to implement, in order to bring a lasting solution to incidences of building collapse, not only in Lagos state, but nationally.”
Following the submission of the report, the state Governor, Sanwo-Olu, again, set up another committee, to work towards the implementation of the Panel of Inquiry recommendations.
The new committee, which will be chaired by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, have the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Attorney General of Lagos state, Moyosore Onigbanjo; and the state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, as members of the team.
However, the Panel that investigated the cause of the building collapse, likewise urged governments at all levels, to ensure that, ethics, and due diligence, are followed during building constructions.
About 43 people, including Mr. ‘Femi Osibona, the Chief Executive Officer of Fourscore Heights Limited, lost their lives during the November 1st, 2021 ugly episode.